Hat-tip to Plutonica; see Tim Maroney for the complete essay:
Facts and Phallacies:
by Tim Maroney
Originally published in The Scarlet Letter, Volume V, Number 2.
It is generally agreed that Aleister Crowley’s approach to sex magick, and in fact to his religious tradition as a whole, was “phallic.” He described it in this way repeatedly and enthusiastically. This might lead us to wonder whether Crowley was sexist, and whether he considered the male sex organs superior to the female, and by extension, the male superior to the female in general.
There has been surprisingly little discussion of this important issue in O.T.O. publications. Recently the Outer Head of the Order, Hymenæus Beta, printed his Address to the Women’s Conference1 in the international newsletter. This Address touched on a broad range of issues related to Crowley’s gender attitudes, but it raised more questions than it settled.
The Gender-Neutral Phallus:
According to the Address, Crowley’s phallicism does not exclude women, because “phallus” is a gender-neutral term. We are told that Crowley was using a woman-inclusive meaning of “phallus” derived from psychology. “Crowley read his Freud and Jung very thoroughly. He didn’t use capital P Phallus without assuming that his readers knew what was meant. Unfortunately few today do. He was referring to the psychoanalytic stage of full genital organization, which is the third of a series. The first state is infantile, undifferentiated, and of course generally chaste. The second stage is narcissistic, usually corresponding to adolescence, and masturbatory. In the third, the phallic as they chose to call it, the individual psychology is so organized as to integrate the psyche with the genital consciousness and its associated instincts, and is then prepared to enter the world, to have intercourse.”
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